Monks during Monlam Chenmo

Monks during Monlam Chenmo

1998.285.212.2 (Lantern Slide)

Image for comparison


Raw Image


(Glass negative)

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Key Information


Rabden Lepcha?


Sir Charles Bell

Date of Photo

February 11th - 14th 1921


Lhasa > Jokhang

Accession number


Image Dimensions

81 x 81 mm

Monks in a courtyard, Shingra, in the south western part of the Jokhang taken from above, during the Prayer Festival of Monlam Chenmo.

Further Information


Ritual Activity

Photographic Process

Lantern Slide

Date Acquired

Donated 1983

Donated by

St Antony's College, Oxford.


Sir Charles Bell's Mission to Lhasa 1920-21

Photo also owned by

Royal Central Asiatic Society

Revised Photographer


Previous Catologue Number


Previous Pitt Rivers Museum Number


Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Bell's List of Illustrations entry: "[No. of chapter] XXXII to XXXIV. [Subject of Chapter] The Religion [Subject of Illustration] H.185 (bk) Some of the monks in one of the services in the Prayer Festival (Mönlam) at the Temple in Lhasa. [Where placed - book page] I, 160 [Remarks] L.179 (Y in L)"

Notes on print/mount - '33' has been written in blue-black ink. This slide seems to have been used as slide 33 in the lecture 'A Year in Lhasa', which was first presented at the Royal Geographical Society on 3rd December 1923. The text, with a lesser number of images, was later published in
The Geographical Journal of February 1924. Bell may also have presented this lecture on other occasions about which we have no information at present. [MS 6/9/2004]

Exhibition - Photograph caption from
Seeing Lhasa exhibition at Pitt Rivers Museum, 7 September 2003 - 30 November 2004: 'The Great Prayer (Mönlam Chenmo) was instituted for the benefit of all Tibet by Tsongkhapa in 1409 and became part of the New Year celebrations. Thousands of monks from the great Gelukpa monasteries of Ganden, Sera and Drepung came to Lhasa for this event to spend several days reciting prayers. Bell's photograph shows some of them seated in a courtyard of the Jokhang, the most sacred temple in Tibet."

Other Information - Dates

Other Information - Dates: The Great Prayer would take place on the 4th to the 6th of the First Tibetan Month. In 1921 there were two days in the western calendar that could equate to the 4th day in the Tibetan lunar month and therefore the date range for this image has been given as 11th-14th February 1921 [MS 20/10/2005]

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Monks during Monlam Chenmo" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <>.

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